Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Getting Cozy With a Few Mysteries (Conroe, TX)

I switched my blog's profile to the Gmail account last month so that I could leave comments on my friends' blogs.  With Yahoo, my comments were being rejected through emails, but they were showing up in the blogs.  I just thought it would be easier for my friends.  Bad move on my part because now my blog's post notifications are being rejected by my friends' email systems.  I received an email from one friend saying she had not heard from me for a month and yet, I had posted a couple of days before her email.  Now, I know why she did not receive her notice.  I am switching back to Yahoo and will just have to deal with my own email rejects.  Oh well...

So, what have I been doing recently....not a whole lot.  A little reading, walking, too much eating, and of course, walking cats.  Except for some shopping and running other errands, we have been contend to stay in the park then to go out exploring the area.  The weather has been warm and sunny so I have been sitting outside sewing while Dusty naps nearby.  He loves being outdoors.
For the past couple of months, I have been plowing through some uninteresting and disappointing books.  Most I started a while back and stopped due to a lack of interest.  Like my projects, I suddenly feel a need to finish them.  I did, but they were not very satisfying to read.  The stories did not carry me away.  I did not fall in love with the characters or worry about them or the ending was disappointing.  Finally, I decided it was time to fall back on some of my favorite subjects - a cozy mystery or two or three.....

Shear Trouble by Elizabeth Craig

As soon as I started this one, I knew I was going to have a hard time putting the book down.  This is Elizabeth's third book in the series:  A Southern Quilting Mystery.  The main character Beatrice is starting to sound more like Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote.  Asking questions, looking for clues, and actually solving who-done-it before the killer reveals him or herself.

I like Beatrice and her sense of style, not to mention the description of her little southern style cottage, her garden, and her little corgi.  She is a novice quilter with a quiet observation of those around her.  I also like the fact that she is one of the few female 'investigators' not involved with a law enforcer love interest.  It seems like lately most of the cozy mysteries' main female characters are always involved with the Sheriff/Deputy/Detective/Lawyer which I find a little irritating that they need a man around to constantly warn them that they are walking on thin ice when it comes to "snooping" yet they are the ones that solve the case.  Well, okay, her neighbor and quilting friend, Meadow is married to the Sheriff, but that isn't the same.  Plus, half the time he has no idea what those two are up to!

Anyway, I enjoyed reading Shear Trouble.  I'm starting to enjoy Beatrice's crazy neighbor - Meadow.  She is a little scattered in thought but she has a a big heart.   I enjoy the rest of the quilting group as well especially Miss Sissy.  What a character!  Plus it was a joy to read about a quilt retreat, descriptions of Posy's quilt shop, as well as a stray kitten that sounded soooo adorable that I wanted to adopt her.  I know, I don't need another cat..   In the end, I was sad to see the story end, but very happy for a good getaway read.  Of course, it helps to know there is a new Southern Quilting Mystery coming soon - Tying the Knot

Last Wool and Testament by Molly MacRae
The Haunted Yarn Shop series was a recommendation from Amazon.  I wasn't so sure about it after the first couple of chapters.  First of all, the main character, Kath seems to be cursed by Murphy's Law...anything that can go wrong certainly does go wrong for her.  She gets a speeding ticket on the way to her grandma's funeral.  Then she is locked out of her grandma's house and the cat is missing.  And that's just the beginning...her dead grandma is also suspected of murder.  Having no home or job doesn't keep her down though.  Kath keeps plugging away at the clues to prove her grandma is innocent.

So many elements were being introduced in such a short time that I thought the story would end up a jumbled mess.   There's a ghost, hints of a witch with powers, blackmailing, and so much more going on...and yet, I was enjoying the story. There were some funny moments and the characters are well done.  Some are a little strange or a little wacky, but that just made me turn the pages faster.  I loved hating the boorish condescending oaf of a deputy.  I bet those two will never become a couple.  Kath would rather punch him in the nose than kiss him!  LOL!  I plan to read more from this series.

Look!  The waiting is over!  I have been waiting months for Marie Bostwick's new book "The Second Sister" and it is available today.  I just bought it through Audible.com.  I can't wait to listen to this one.  The cats will be going for a lot of walks!

Amazon Author's Fan Page
Want to know when an author has a new book?  If you are like me, you probably have several favorite authors that you like to keep track of their latest writings.  I use to keep a list of my favorites, but I always forgot someone.  Later, I used my Kindle to see if anyone had a new book being published soon. Now, Amazon will send you an email.  All you have to do is follow your favorite author on their Amazon fan page. Under their photo, you can click Follow and Amazon will let you know when your favorite author's latest book will be published.

On The Cutting Board
 I have also been getting in a little sewing done here and there.  A couple of the Happy Campers are getting a second look before I sew them together.  I feel a little tweaking needs to be done....
It seems to me that there is too much white for this Class-C mug rug.  I thought I would add the window frames and doors for more coloring before layering the white top to the blue background.
I'm going to add a few more flowers too....depending on how that looks, I might add more.  I plan to trim the bottom part off so some more of the blue background will show.
I added a lace stitch to the scalloped edging to match the curtains on this one.
I added two more snowmen to the collection for a better variety of colored scarfs.  Love the green polka-dotted fabric!
I finished transferring the A to Zzz Snowman patterns to the muslin blocks and I could not wait to start embroidering.  Actually, looking at the large pile of blocks, I realized that this project is going to take a year or two to finish.  No better time to start than right now!
Good Tip
Oh!  Before I go back to sewing...I learned a tip from Elizabeth Craig:  "Running your needle and thread through a folded dryer sheet before hand-piecing helps prevent knots." Craig, Elizabeth (2014-08-05). Shear Trouble: A Southern Quilting Mystery (p. 276). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.   
I wanted to see how well this would work so I waited until my embroidery thread became a tangled mess.  With some of the stitches I do, the thread is almost beyond repair once it starts knotting.  I rubbed the sheet on my DMC thread after it started to knot and it worked very well.  Plus, I found that the sheet cleans sticky needles after I have been sewing through fusible webbing.  
What an excellent tip!  My hand sewing has become even more relaxing and I am not losing as much thread now.  I plan to use a dryer sheet on my sewing machine's needle the next time it ends up sticky while sewing through fusible webbing.  

Well, I hear the projects calling to me.  I have my dryer sheet, the needles are threaded and ready to sew.
Happy Quilting!


  1. LOVE that first photo at the top!!! Priceless.

    Lots of books, and it makes me feel bad, because I haven't read an actual book in over a year. (Sad, I know!)

    I really love the colors in that first Happy Camper for what's on the cutting board this go around.

  2. I don't know how that setting works but most people are getting my coments. A few told me I was coming up as a "noreply" blogger. I have not been able to find out how to fix that. Now my cursor had disappeared completely and I am dealing with a touch screen that drives me nuts.
    Amazon sends me notices on any author I have read before and I just saw Marie Bostwick has written quite a few more.


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